Established in 1965, HAWS assists over 6,000 animals and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors annually. As an "open admissions" shelter we lead the community in animal welfare and assure sanctuary for all animals in need, regardless of age, health or temperament. HAWS is a non-profit, entirely donor-fund organization with an active humane education program, and both wildlife and companion animal rescue services for Waukesha County.
HAWS License #267280-DS
Each year around this time we get inquiries at HAWS about adoption of rabbits as gifts for Easter. Advertising campaigns have painted the adorable picture of a lop-eared bunny hopping around the Easter basket of goodies, or a child in their Sunday best outfit cuddling with a new fluffy rabbit friend.
And each year around this time our mantra is: BAD IDEA. (Better idea: go with the chocolate or plush toy version!)
The created vision is all warm and fuzzy, but the realities are stark and cold.
- Dozens of rabbits are surrendered to HAWS each year because the owner had no idea of the type of care involved with a house rabbit (they are NOT a carefree pet - far from it, actually). Often they were given the rabbit as a gift and really didn't want it to begin with.
- "Cuddly bunny" can actually be a misnomer - many rabbits aren't all that thrilled with being held...and they may bite to show their disapproval! Rabbits have needs, likes, dislikes...just like you.
- Just like other domesticated animals, rabbits are part of the pet-overpopulation problem. There is much truth to the "multiply like rabbits" saying! Spaying or neutering also helps with spraying and behavioral issues.
Rabbits CAN make wonderful pets...if the owner does their research and is fully prepared. To help, HAWS is hosting our annual Bunny Day on Sunday, May 1st, from 12:00-4:30pm. Come learn from rabbit experts from the WIsconsin House Rabbit Society and a bunny veterinarian. Ask your questions, find out helpful hints from other rabbit fans, and get all you need to know to make the decision as to whether or not a pet house rabbit is right for you. Admission is $5, free for children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult.
We'll see you Sunday, May 1st. And enjoy nibbling on your chocolate rabbit this weekend...
By the way - Have you voted? HAWS is one of the charities in the running for Waterstone Bank's 90 years, $90K donations contest, running throughout April. Log on to their voting page and choose Humane Animal Welfare Society. Vote often!!
By the way, part 2 - HAWS 28th Annual Pet Walkathon is coming on Saturday, May 7th. Support the HAWS cause on foot...or online with a personal fundraising webpage! Get all the details and start raising money for HAWS today!